Last summer, Georgia Right to Life hosted a meeting with anti-abortion members of the House on St. Simons Island.
(GRTL isn’t rolling in money. The lawmakers were already there for a relaxed GOP caucus meeting.)
Constitutional attorneys were brought in to explain the impact of the new Obama administration on the U.S. Supreme Court – that the window of opportunity to mount a direct legal challenge to Roe v. Wade would begin to shrink with the first retirement of a court conservative.
So it was essential, they explained, that the challenge begin as soon as possible. Dan Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, and the lawyers outlined the bill they had in mind to raise the proper legal issues and attract the interest of conservative Supreme Court justices.
That bill was HB 1155, which would bar physicians from performing abortions on women who they knew to be coerced into the procedure. More important, for purposes of challenging Roe v. Wade, the bill prohibited abortions when the root cause was the gender or race of the fetus.
When HB 1155 became mired in the House special judiciary committee, SB 529 – an identical version of the legislation – was introduced in the Senate, and quickly passed.
SB 529 is now before the House Judiciary Committee. Becker suspects that some House Republican leaders are about to tone down the bill with a substitute that would remove the race and gender features of the measure – the elements intended to generate the high court challenge.
So this afternoon, GRTL began putting out a swarm of robo-calls featuring Mike Huckabee, the winner of Georgia’s 2008 presidential primary:
“Hello, this is Gov. Mike Huckabee calling on behalf of the Georgia Right to Life. I want to bring to your attention a vitally important piece of legislation that has powerful implications for the sanctity of human life nationwide.
“Senate Bill 529 is a simple bill. It protects a woman from being forced into having an abortion against her will, and prohibits the use of abortion as a means of race or gender discrimination. Some of the best pro-life attorneys in the nation have helped craft the language of SB 529, and it’s very important that the Georgia House with no amendments. I’m asking you, please contact your state representative….”
Becker said that Focus on the Family, too, is set to weigh in on passage of the legislation. A full court press is to begin Monday.
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